June 25th 2011 – Monthly Clean Up in Shark Bay Draws a Crowd

 

Crystal Dive & Eco Koh Tao joined Marine Conservation Koh Tao in our monthly community clean up in windy, rainy & sometimes sunny conditions at Shark Bay Koh Tao’s south-east.

 

For the underwater clean-up 36 people, our biggest crowd for some time joined Crystal Dive & Eco Koh Tao to make a difference for the benefit of Koh Tao’s marine environment.

 

Shark Bay is not dived very often, being very shallow and being heavily damaged by storms in 1998 from which it never really recovered. It is visited by snorkelling tours regularly who come to see the black tip reef sharks that regularly inhabit the bay there.

 

Divers were provided clean up bags care of the Project Aware Foundation who provided a number of them as donations for our Earth Day celebrations back in April this year. Some participants also used their dive to collect invaluable data on coral bleaching using the University of Queensland and Project Aware’s Coralwatch Coral Health Chart monitoring. This data is collected during the dive and uploaded to Coralwatch’s online database.

 

When we do our clean ups the aim is to try and educate people into the plight of the marine ecosystems from garbage and discarded waste and what role we can have in reducing its frequency. People are instructed to only bring up things that are damaging the environment and things that will continue to damage. We try to remind people that it is better to try to REDUCE consumption of things like plastic bags & bottles rather than rely on them being recycled.

 

Glass bottles provide habitat and substrate and if removed simply add to our already overfilled landfill. Fishing nets, once secure and fixed to the bottom are usually a good substrate for other organisms to grow on.

 

It was encouraging to see our educational campaign had paid off with very few glass bottles and mostly only the target plastic bottles and fishing nets.

 

Marine Conservation Koh Tao www.marineconservationkohtao.com

Project Aware www.projectaware.org

Coralwatch www.coralwatch.org

Save Koh Tao www.savekohtao.com